I have been going to the same chat room for 13 years. We are like family is some ways. We have the jealous 'sisters', the immature 'brothers' and the ones who try and act like parents to the rest of the room. Then there are the loony 'aunts' we lock away in the attic and the uncles we pretend we are not related too. We have never met. Yet I feel a certain sense of closeness to some of them. When they are ill or hurt, I feel for them. I worry about them and pray for them. I often turn to certain ones in what I call pmland and ask their advice for certain things. I trust them as much as I do anyone in my real life.
I have had people ask me why these people should matter. They matter because they seem to care about me. I care about them. We have swapped secrets many of us have not told anyone in real life. They are my cyber family and I accept them, the gays the straights, the loonies and the drunks that I hide in iggy land (ignore) when they get too rambunctious.
In other words, I treat them like family. *s*